MANCHESTER CITY WOMEN 2, BIRMINGHAM CITY LADIES 0
Manchester City’s Women’s team eased to victory with a 2-0 win over Birmingham City Ladies in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup group stage.
First half goals by Nikita Parris and Claire Emslie set City’s women on their way against their opponents who rarely troubled restored England International Karen Bardsley in the City goal
Nick Cushing had earlier agreed a new contract to stay with Manchester City Women until the end of the 2020/21 season and he made three changes from the side that beat LSK Kvinner.
Bardsley, Jane Ross and Esme Morgan came into the side, with Ellie Roebuck, Demi Stokes and the injured Megan Campbell stepping down.
Birmingham City fielded Hannah Hampton in goal in place of Ann-Katrin Berger who had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer – she was subsequently given applause in the 30th minute of the game – her Birmingham squad number.
Nikita Parris had already tested Hampton with an easy shot in the first two minutes and Parris scored after 18 minutes with a delicious ball sent forward by Jane Ross which put her clean through.
The England winger finished the chance with aplomb past the inexperienced England U17 keeper who had only recently celebrated her 17th birthday.
Claire Emslie doubled the City tally with a goal lashed in from Esme Morgan’s cross after 37 minutes.
City got a lot of job from the flanks, with Emslie’s cross just too far ahead of Ross for what may have been City’s third goal while the City winger also curled a shot into the side netting and had another cross cleared behind for a corner with Ross lurking for a tap-in.
Birmingham lost their captain Emily Westwood to injury after a foul by Emslie in the 53rd minute but she was replaced by Kerys Harrop who was sent off at the City Football Academy the last time the two sides faced each other.
The visitors had little threat except for a tame shot on the hour by Andrine Hegerberg and a corner by Paige Williams that had Bardsley stretching to tip it over while City went close a couple of times notably with Ross heading wide.
Harrop had the ball in the back of the City net late on but it was disallowed for a foul on Bardsley as the home side weathered a late surge by the visitors.
Man City Women: Bardsley, Morgan, Houghton, Beattie, McManus, Walsh, Emslie, Christiansen (Stanway 63), Scott, Parris, Ross (Toone 71)
Man City Women Subs: Hourihan, Stanway, Toone, Roebuck
Goals: Parris 18, Emslie 37
Birmingham City Ladies: Hampton, Williams, Sargeant (Mayling 73), Carter, Hegerberg, Wellings (Follis 63), Williams, Westwood (Harrop 54), Mannion, Ladd, Quinn
Birmingham City Ladies Subs: Harrop, Ayisi, Mayling, Cusack, Schofield, Follis, Stenson